Dating / Relationship Question and Answer


22 Nov 2001


You Can’t “Own” Someone Else !



I have been with the same guy for 9
months.  He has been married twice and has 4 children. The
first 6 months things were really good. We became serious and I fell
in love with him and I told him so. That’s when things got crazy! He
has never told me he loves me but when I confront him about it, he
says he is scared of saying it because he thinks things will go bad.


The past three months have been pure hell – a
roller coaster.  Three months ago he ran away scared. I didn’t
talk to him for a couple of weeks and then he sent me an email and
made his way back into my life. The second time he just stayed away
for a week. I phoned him and we were okay again after that.  He
keeps saying he doesn’t want a girlfriend because he doesn’t want to
get close.  After the second time he started to go to
counseling.  He was doing really well until last Sunday
when the same thing happened again!  This is a pattern for
him.  He will probably call again once he gets out of his gray
period, and I want to know what you think about this situation.







This sounds like a roller coaster for sure!


Many women have all sorts of hang-ups too. For men, the #1
hang-up is commitment. This is because commitment has such a
negative connotation for us. For you girls, it means security,
future, marriage, etc. – in short, all of the good things in the
relationship. For us, it means responsibility, problems, time away
from our work and friends, and a lack of freedom. I’m sure you’ve
heard all this before, but try to put yourself in a guy’s shoes. Try
to imagine what we go through. Believe me, those words; “I love you”
are important to you, but terrifying to us!


So, let’s look at your particular situation. First, if he isn’t
willing to commit to you, there really isn’t much you can do. From
your description, this sounds less like a simple fear, and more like
a religion! You said he’s been in counseling for this, but not
whether he still is. If so, you’re going to have to realize that
it’s going to take some time – possibly a long time, to get over it
all. Your real question should be “can you wait”?


Unfortunately you can’t own another person – even through
marriage. You can’t set goals for him, nor can you make him do
anything he doesn’t want to do. If your goals are a stable,
comfortable relationship with a guy that’s at ease with telling you
his feelings, this guy may not be the one for you.


On the other hand, if you’re willing to wait (possible a long
time), and willing to live with someone that doesn’t want to commit,
and won’t tell you that he loves you; this guy’s a dream!


My point here is that you’ve got to decide what YOU want in your
life. You can’t base it around what someone else does or doesn’t do.
I understand that this “on-again, off-again” relationship is driving
you crazy and you’ve had good things in the past, but don’t use THAT
as a yardstick of the future. As I tell people all the time, don’t
listen to his (or her!) words – watch their actions!


One last thing you might want to do. If  he calls, and if
he’s still in counseling and if he agrees to it; you might want to
contact his counselor and get a professional opinion on this guy.
That’s a lot of if’s, but if these things come to pass, you might
gain great insight into his particular situation (and your
possibility for a future). However, I wouldn’t count on these
things. Decide what YOU want in YOUR life and make them happen for


Good luck, much love…